Future Tory leader must look to the past for role models

If the next Conservative Party of Canada leader doesn't maintain and build on the Mulroney-Harper legacy, he or she is doomed to failure

Future Tory leader must look to the past for role modelsThe Conservative leadership race was thrown for a loop last week. Businessman and media gadfly Kevin O’Leary unexpectedly dropped out and endorsed former cabinet minister Maxime Bernier. Truth be told, he abandoned his campaign for an odd reason: a lack of support in Quebec. The next federal election is two years away, which would have…

Canada’s Conservative party of the present – and the future

The free-for-all to choose the next Tory leader is a competition of political visions and brands – and mediocrity won’t be tolerated

Canada’s Conservative party of the present – and the futureWhen former prime minister Stephen Harper lost the 2015 federal election, and then stepped down as party leader, most political commentators expected a lively leadership race to choose his successor. They didn’t expect a packed house with little to no breathing room. Without searching the Internet or asking anyone, can you name all 14 candidates…

For Canada, ratifying CETA was the easy part

The influx of quality, affordable dairy products will force Canada’s dairy industry to redefine itself within a more competitive landscape

After meltdowns and temper tantrums, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) may finally be ratified. It's nothing short of a miracle and will bring about dramatic change in Canada. The path to a Canada-European Union trade deal has faced several roadblocks in recent months. CETA was initially about growth and prosperity, and how to facilitate more…

Canada really is back – to mediocrity

Canada, which never looked stronger than under the Harper Tories, looks much weaker under the Trudeau Liberals

Canada really is back – to mediocrityDear Justin, Hope that you’re having a nice summer with Sophie and the kids. I’m sure that heeding the advice of a longtime conservative columnist, political pundit and speechwriter to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper isn’t at the top of your list. Even so, I hope you’ll give some consideration to the free advice I’m about…

The political legacy of Stephen Harper

Harper never wanted to accept being second-best in any capacity, and that went double for our nation

The political legacy of Stephen HarperWhen Stephen Harper resigned his seat in the House of Commons last Friday, it was seen as the end of an era. I readily concur. My history with the former Prime Minister goes back much further than my tenure as one of his speechwriters. We first met in December 1996. He was a first-term Reform…

Stephen Harper earned my enduring respect

10 reasons why I did not detest Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper earned my enduring respectAnd so it ends, not with a bang, but a whimper. Late last week, in a secluded part of Centre Block, staff were seen packing up Stephen Harper’s Parliamentary office. Anyone wandering by could see the moving boxes and the packing tape, in plain view. Harper, the 22nd prime minister of Canada, had cast his…

Canadian conservatives need to pause, regroup

Despite the hype, Canadian conservatism will recover

Canadian conservatives need to pause, regroupPolitics, by nature, is a system of ebbs and flows. Ideological positions pass in and out of vogue with the electorate. Support for certain policy positions, including the size of government, taxes, funding of social services and international affairs, swings frequently on the left-right pendulum. Political parties and leaders are called triumphant warriors in one…

2015 election came down to the politics of resentment

Fear and loathing of Harper trumped fear of leaving the country hostage to profound inexperience

2015 election came down to the politics of resentmentLast week, several colleagues at the University undertook a post mortem of the federal election. Two of our recent PhD graduates, David Coletto (2010), now CEO of Abacus Data, and Paul Fairie (2013), a principal with Centrality Data Science, provided a fine-grained analysis of what had been a two-part campaign. Part one, Canadians decided that…

Five reasons why Canadians should thank Stephen Harper

He also provided a clear reminder that the price of democracy is eternal vigilance

Five reasons why Canadians should thank Stephen HarperThe predictable post-election criticism of Stephen Harper — even from within his Conservative caucus — fails to acknowledge that we have much to thank the soon-to-be former prime minister for. Yes, losing the Oct. 19 federal election should rest on the shoulders of Harper and a decade of government decisions. But many Canadians are thankful for the outcome,…

Stephen Harper’s exit

Harper joins the long list of Canadian politicians who stayed too long and pushed their luck too far

Stephen Harper’s exitWhen we left the country to go travelling at the end of September, I expected the Conservatives to win a slim minority and defer parliament’s reconvening to early January, at which point the opposition would combine forces to bring the government down. Then, unable to command the confidence of the House, Stephen Harper would ask…